Most Popular

Toronto, Ohio
Birth Sign
Toronto, Ohio

Robert Michael Urich was an American actor who appeared in TV, movies, plays, and other media. His impressive body of work as an actor spans almost three decades and includes numerous noteworthy movies, TV shows, and TV films, as well as a record-breaking 15 TV series in which he served as the lead. Before pursuing his passion for acting and appearing in a theatrical production of “The Rainmaker,” he worked as a salesman at Chicago’s “WGN-TV,” and then as a weatherman. He decided to pursue a career in show business and made his TV debut in the series “The F.B.I.” as a guest performer in 1972. The following year, he made his film debut in “Magnum Force.” Later, he was cast as the title character in the sitcom “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” and the action/crime thriller “S.W.A.T.” However, his performance as “Dan Tanna” in the television series “Vega$” stands out as his most recognizable and well-known part. He received two “Golden Globe Award” nominations for the part. In 2000, he made his “Broadway” debut with the show “Chicago.” The Ice Pirates, Spenser: For Hire, and The Lazarus Man are just a few of Urich’s other well-known creations. He battled the rare malignancy synovial sarcoma till he passed away at age 55.

Table of Contents

Early Childhood & Life

John Paul and Cecilia Monica Urich welcomed their son Robert on December 19, 1946, in Toronto, Ohio, in the United States. He came from a devout Catholic home.

In 1964, he earned his diploma from “Toronto High School.” He was given a football scholarship at Florida State University as a “center” and joined the fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha. In 1968, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in radio and television communications.

After some time spent working in Ohio, he went to “Michigan State University,” where he earned his master’s degree in broadcast research and management in 1971. After that, he spent some time in Chicago working as a salesman for the independent television station “WGN-TV.” He also had a brief stint working as a TV meteorologist.

Career of Robert Urich

He played the younger brother of the character portrayed by Burt Reynolds in the stage performance of the play “The Rainmaker.” He moved to Los Angeles because of Reynolds, then made his way to Hollywood and decided to pursue acting as a full-time career.

He debuted on television in the ABC series “The F.B.I.” On September 17, 1972, he appeared in the episode “The Runner” as a guest star named “Davie Stroud.”

He played “Bob Sanders,” one of the titular characters, in the American sitcom “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” which was his first lead role in a TV series. However, after seven of its twelve episodes were shown on ABC from September 26, 1973, to November 7, 1973, due to low Nielsen ratings, it was canceled.

He played “Bob Sanders,” one of the titular characters, in the American sitcom “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” which was his first lead role in a TV series. However, after seven of its twelve episodes were shown on ABC from September 26, 1973, to November 7, 1973, due to low Nielsen ratings, it was canceled.

His next significant performance was in the American action/crime drama series “S.W.A.T.” as “Officer Jim Street.” After Burt Reynolds convinced Aaron Spelling, the film’s executive producer, to allow him to read the part, he was offered the role. Between February 24, 1975, and April 3, 1976, a total of 37 episodes from the TV series “S.W.A.T.” were shown on “ABC.”

He continued his TV career with shows like “Soap” (1977) and “Tabitha” (1977–78), before landing on “Vega$,” another Aaron Spelling-produced program. In this American criminal drama series, he portrayed private eye “Dan Tanna,” the series’ main character.

Between April 25, 1978, and June 3, 1981, a total of 69 episodes from 3 seasons of “Vega$” were shown on ABC. As a result of its success, Urich gained more notoriety and received two nominations for “Golden Globe Awards.”

After deciding to pursue a career in film, he joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and shifted his attention to the big screen, landing the lead part of “Ruben Castle” in the science fiction movie “Endangered Species.” JoBeth Williams, Hoyt Axton, and Peter Coyote all had leading parts in the movie, which Alan Rudolph also co-wrote and directed. On September 10, 1982, it was released, and as of 2017, it had a US$1,474,249 box office take.

Then came more leading jobs after that. He appeared in the 1984 American made-for-television supernatural horror film “Invitation to Hell,” the financially successful humorous science-fiction picture “The Ice Pirates,” and the TV series “Gavilan” (1982–1983). (1984).

The title role of “Spenser” in the mystery series “Spenser: For Hire” is one of his most well-known performances. From September 20, 1985, through May 7, 1988, a total of 66 episodes from three seasons of the show were shown on ABC. He played the character again in four made-for-TV films, including “Spenser: Ceremony” (1993), “Spenser: The Judas Goat” (1994), “Spenser: Pale Kings and Princes” (1994), and “Spenser: A Savage Place,” which not only helped to further his flourishing TV career (1995).

He also served from 1988 to 1995 as the host and narrator of the American documentary television program “National Geographic Explorer.” He was awarded the “CableACE Award” for this endeavor.
He received accolades for his portrayal of “Jake Spoon,” a former Texas Ranger, in the renowned, highly acclaimed, and well-liked Western TV miniseries “Lonesome Dove,” which aired for four episodes on “CBS” from February 5, 1989, to February 8, 1989.

In the American TV sitcom “American Dreamer,” which aired on “NBC” for 17 episodes from September 20, 1990, to June 22, 1991, he portrayed the title character, “Tom Nash.”
In the Western TV series “The Lazarus Man,” which was created by “Castle Rock Entertainment,” he was given the title character of “Lazarus” (James Cathcart). For one season, from January 20, 1996, until November 9, 1996, the show broadcast on “TNT.”

‘The Lazarus Man’s’ success gave rise to expectations for a second season. However, the series was abandoned by the production company after Urich received a synovial cell sarcoma diagnosis in July 1996. When discussing this incident, Urich said: “There is in fact a statute that prohibits what they did. They abruptly canceled the show after learning that I had cancer. The doctors weren’t consulted on my ability to work. They didn’t inquire if I could return to my job.”

He filed a claim for contract breach against “Castle Rock Entertainment” in 2000. Later, the two parties came to an agreement. The settlement’s terms and conditions, however, were not made known to the general public. In the musical “Chicago,” in which he played “Billy Flynn,” he made his Broadway debut.

His most well-known works are the TV shows Crossroads (1992–1993), Love Boat: The Next Wave (1998–1999), and Emeril (2001), as well as the TV movies Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story (1980), Scandal Sheet (1985), Stranger at My Door (1991), Deadly Relations (1993), and Final Run (1993). (1999).

Individual Life of Robert Urich

From 1968 to 1974, he was married to Barbara Rucker, a famous actress.

He wed Canadian-American actress and model Heather Menzies in 1975. Ryan Urich, Emily, and Allison Grady, three adopted children, were born in 1979, 1980, and 1992, respectively (born in 1998).
He was awarded a “star” on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 7083 Hollywood Boulevard, on December 12, 1995.

In July 1996, he announced publicly that he had been given a synovial sarcoma diagnosis. In 1998, after undergoing radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and a few surgeries, he was determined to be cancer-free. He was named the American Cancer Society’s national spokesperson that year.

He campaigned to promote cancer awareness and was given the Gilda Radner Courage Award. He and Heather founded the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s “Robert and Heather Urich Fund for Sarcoma Research.”

He developed cancer once more in the fall of 2001. He passed away at Thousand Oaks’ “Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center” on April 16, 2002. On the property of his family’s vacation house in Prince Edward County, Ontario, his cremated remains were buried.

The “Eccles Performing Arts Center” created the “Robert Urich Scholarship” fund in his honor.

Estimated net worth

At the time of his passing in 2002, Robert Urich, an American actor, and producer, had a $4 million net worth. Urich appeared in 15 TV shows throughout the course of his 30-year career, but he is most well-known for his roles as Officer Jim Street on “S.W.A.T.” (1975–1976), Dan Tanna on “Vega$” (1978–1981), and Spenser on “Spenser: For Hire” (1985–1988). Additionally, he narrated more than 100 episodes of “National Geographic Explorer” (1988-1995).